After we tell people we’re joining the Peace Corps, we’re inevitably answered with a bunch of questions – where are you going? how long will you be there? etc. (don’t worry, we love to answer them!). Anyway, we thought we’d try to answer them all in one place here. If we miss anything you’ve been wondering about, feel free to ask in the comments or shoot one of us an email!
Why the Peace Corps?
We both love to travel, and have been tossing around ideas for living abroad for awhile. We settled on the Peace Corps because it would give us a chance to get to know a community where we’re working to make a bit of a difference, to receive education in a foreign language, to have the protection of the U.S. government, and to make a little bit of money (not much, but at least we’re not paying to go like we would with a lot of other volunteer programs).
Additionally, two out the top three goals of the Peace Corps are related to cultural exchange, which is a philosophy that really appeals to us. The top three goals are:
- To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
- To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
- To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of all Americans.
We’re glad to have you all here reading to help us work on goal #3!
Where are you going and how long will you be gone?
We’ve been assigned to be somewhere in Morocco for the next 27 months. Our first week will be in Rabat, the capital. We’ll then move in with a host family in a yet-to-be determined city for our training period, which lasts 8-12 weeks. After training we’ll be sworn in as official Peace Corps Volunteers and will receive our final site assignment, which is where we’ll work for our two years of service. We leave Columbus on January 14, so our service should end sometime in March 2015.
What will you be doing?
Our assignment is to be Youth Development volunteers, which as far as we can tell means teaching English and other skills to children in after-school centers. We’ll also most likely do some work at summer camps and other miscellaneous tasks.
Do you learn a foreign language?
Yes – the Peace Corps will teach us Moroccan Arabic. French is also widely spoken in Morocco, but it seems to be more of a business and government language rather than a popular language. Language learning will be what our training period focuses on – we’ve been told to expect 4-6 hours of language classes daily, plus conversation with our host families outside of class.
Will you have electricity/running water/internet access?
We expect to have electricity and most other basic amenities, but we’ll update on that once we actually get to Morocco. We’re also expecting to have access to the internet on at least a semi-regular basis, although from what we’ve heard it depends on where we end up (urban vs. rural area).
We’ll be sure to add updates to this information as we get to Morocco and start to learn more about what it’s like there. For now, we’re mostly just excited to get there and start the adventure!
– Cori and Matt